What perioral dermatitis treatments are there?
The first step in treating perioral dermatitis is to stop using whatever caused the condition in the first place.
You should stop using any cosmetics or skin care products on your face and wash your face with warm water alone until your skin has healed.
You should also avoid using fluoride toothpaste and stop using any over-the-counter treatments that contain corticosteroids.
If you are using prescription creams or ointments containing corticosteroids, check with your GP before stopping treatment.
Your perioral dermatitis may flare up after you stop using topical corticosteroids, and the condition often gets worse before it gets better after starting treatment.
Medications for perioral dermatitis
Treatment for perioral dermatitis can be topical (applied to the skin) or oral (taken by mouth). Mild perioral dermatitis is usually treated with topical medications and more severe cases with oral antibiotics.
Topical treatments in the form of gels, creams or ointments are normally applied in a thin layer to clean skin twice a day (morning and evening). Topical treatments used to treat perioral dermatitis include:
- Topical antibiotics such as erythromycin, clindamycin, and metronidazole
- Pimecrolimus cream, Azelaic acid
More severe cases of perioral dermatitis may be treated with a type of antibiotic called a tetracycline antibiotic. You will normally continue treatment for 6 to 12 weeks, and your symptoms should improve within 2 months.
Some antibiotics used to treat perioral dermatitis include:
oxytetracycline —the normal dose of oxytetracycline for perioral dermatitis is 500 mg twice a day. Swallow your tablet or capsule whole with water an hour before food
lymecycline —treatment with lymecycline for perioral dermatitis is normally 408 mg once a day. Swallow your tablet or capsule whole with water an hour before food
erythromycin —the usual dose is 500mg twice a day. Swallow your tablet or capsule whole with water with or just before food
doxycycline —is normally prescribed at a dose of 100mg once a day. You should swallow your tablet whole with water and stay in an upright position (sitting or standing) for at least 30 minutes. You can take doxycycline with or without food.
What’s the best treatment for perioral dermatitis?
The best treatment for perioral dermatitis depends on factors like your general health, what other medications you are taking and the severity of your symptoms. Talk to your GP or dermatologist about which treatment may be best for you.
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